Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Synopsis: Two faiths, two empires, two rulers - colliding in 1588. Papist Spain wants to bring down the heretic Elizabeth. Philip is building an armada but needs a rationale to attack. With covert intrigue, Spain sets a trap for the Queen and her principal secretary, Walsingham, using as a pawn Elizabeth's cousin Mary Stuart, who's under house arrest in the North. The trap springs, and the armada sets sail, to rendezvous with French ground forces and to attack. During these months, the Virgin Queen falls in love with Walter Raleigh, keeping him close to court and away from the sea and America. Is treachery or heroism at his heart? Does loneliness await her passionate majesty?
Director(s): Shekhar Kapur
Production: Universal Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 29 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

Why do you go

among the people, Majesty?

I tell you plainly,

you will be murdered.

Every Catholic in England

is a potential assassin!

Be warned

by the atrocities in France.

We know the Catholics take

their orders from Spain.

The Spanish speak

openly of Mary Stuart

as Queen of England

in waiting.

Their loyalty is to

the Pope in Rome!

How many Catholics

are there in England, sir?

Immense numbers,


Half the nation cling

to the old superstitions.

What would you have me do?

Hang half the people of

England or just imprison them?

We must act, Majesty.

Our inaction is perceived as weakness.

If my people break the law,

they shall be punished.

Until that day,

they shall be protected.

Majesty, we have proven reason

to fear every Catholic in the...

Fear creates fear.

I am not ignorant

of the dangers, sir.

But I will not punish my

people for their beliefs.

Only for their deeds.

I am assured that the people

of England love their Queen.

My constant endeavor

is to earn that love.

My Queen.

Our friends write

to give us hope.

Soon England's

true believers will rise up

against the bastard

usurper Elizabeth

and slit her throat.

That's enough!

Slit her throat? Please.

And when that bastard usurper

is dead, my lady will be queen.

Your bishops are preaching that

God is showing his displeasure

because the Queen

is still unmarried,

some rudely

suggesting infertile.

What nonsense.

Dangerous nonsense.

Mary Stuart has a son.

Why does everyone

torment me with Mary Stuart?

It's not her fault she's

next in line to the throne.

Don't hide your face.

So long as you

have no issue.

If you were

to produce an heir,

there'd be no more talk

of Mary, Queen of Scots.

I've heard it's customary to obtain

a husband before producing an heir.

We shall have to hunt out a

husband for you soon, Bess.

Not too soon,

my lady.

There are husbands

to be had.

You don't want

to be married?

I'll want to be married

if I want the man...

Austria. France.

Turkey. Turkey has a sultan.

China has an emperor.

I confine myself

to the possible.

That's where you and I

differ, Walsingham.

I find the impossible

far more interesting.

What kind of man

would you want?

An honest man

with friendly eyes.

And good legs.

And sweet breath.

So you can kiss him

without choking.

There must be

any amount of princes

in the undiscovered lands

across the sea.

Find me an honest one

of those.

Since when do we discuss

private matters in public spaces?

I ask Your Majesty's


Have my doctors confirm that

the Queen is still fertile.

The people need

to be reassured.

I care

for your safety.

The threats to your

person are real.

You know very well

if I fall,

you'll all come

tumbling down after me.

The sea wall at Dover

is cracking, Francis.

We have no money

to rebuild our defenses.

Turn your mind

to that threat.

May we have wisdom not to

fear shadows in the night.

And courage when the day

of danger truly dawns.

My time has come,


Send me back to England

to begin God's work.

Your Majesty.


Take hold of him!

A puddle in the way,


A puddle.


You'll have to see

the Lord Chamberlain, sir.

Which one is he?

He's over there.

You can't come in.

So how am I to see him

if you won't let me through?

You must wait for him

to come out.

And when will he

come out?

There's no way

of knowing that.

I had less trouble than

this boarding a Spanish ship.

What if enemy ships should sail up

the Thames, can the docks be closed?

Not closed, Majesty.

But the gun positions...



King Eric of Sweden,


Not again.

Still madly in love with you.

Still mad, you mean.

Ivan, Tsar

of all the Russias.

Where's Bess?

Known as

"Ivan the Terrible," Majesty.


I beg

Your Majesty's forgiveness.



The Archduke

Charles of Austria, Majesty.

The puddle man

is outside, Majesty.

My suitors.

Younger brother to Maximilian

II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Cousin of Philip of Spain.


He's rather handsome.

How old is he?


I believe, Majesty.

An Austrian alliance

would keep France quiet.

And put Philip on a leash.

I've become

almost enthusiastic.

Send for him.

Danke schon.

How much longer do you think

I can play this game, Francis?

Virginity is an asset

that holds its value well.

Walter Raleigh, Majesty.

Your Majesty, this man

is a notorious pirate.

Spanish gold stolen from Spanish

ships, attacked without provocation.

Well, sir, what do you want?

I have just returned

from the New World, Majesty.

I have claimed the

fertile coast in your name

and called it Virginia

in honor

of our Virgin Queen.


And when I marry, will you

change the name to Conjugia?

I ask your gracious

permission, Majesty,

to return to the New World

with your royal warrant

to found a colony under the

laws and protections of England.

He wants money.

Who are they?

Natives of the

Americas, Majesty.

Have they no ruler

of their own?

None to match

England's Queen.

These gentlemen

are welcome.

See that they

are treated well.

I also come bearing

gifts for Your Majesty.

These gifts, Majesty,

are the fruits of piracy,

the true property

of the realm of Spain.

Let's see, shall we?

What have you brought me?

Patata, Majesty.

You eat it.

Very nourishing.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

William Nicholson

William Benedict Nicholson, OBE, FRSL is a British screenwriter, playwright, and novelist who has been nominated twice for an Oscar. more…

All William Nicholson scripts | William Nicholson Scripts

3 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/elizabeth:_the_golden_age_7576>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Elizabeth: The Golden Age

    Browse Scripts.com

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.